Call for Papers: The Spirit, the Kingdom & Ecumenism – Wolfhart Pannenberg’s Doctrine of the Church.

The theological thought of Wolfhart Pannenberg has generated significant conversations, since  the publication of Revelation as History in 1961. Since his passing in 2014, dozens (269) of doctoral dissertations written in English have engaged his corpus, launching a new generation of  scholars who have been impacted by his life and work. 

In an effort to gather scholars interested in the legacy of this seminal thinker, the Pannenberg Symposium will host a conference on March 25 & 26, 2022, in collaboration with Loyola University Chicago, Institute for Pastoral Studies and the Hank  Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage. 


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Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the publication of Systematic Theology, Vol. 3 in English, this conference will address the following theme: 

The Spirit, The Kingdom, and Ecumenism—Wolfhart Pannenberg’s Doctrine of the Church. 

Thus, we would like to extend a Call for Papers engaging Pannenberg’s thought particularly as developed in Vol. 3 of his Systematic Theology. Potential topics include: 

  • Pneumatology: Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
  • Ecclesiology: Nature and Purpose of the Church, doctrine of election
  • Eschatology: The coming kingdom of God and its establishment in history
  • Sacramental Theology: Ecumenical scope, presence of the Spirit in the Eucharist, ministry/ordination
  • Ecumenism in his doctrine of the Church and his work with the World Council of Churches
  • The Church and Society
  • Pannenberg’s political theology and engagement with liberation theology
  • Natural law
  • Theodicy and the coming of Justice

We are especially interested in engaging scholars from a diversity of denominational, cultural, and theological perspectives  to create a critical and constructive conversation about the significance of Pannenberg’s theology for contemporary thought.  Proposals from a wide range of theological approaches are encouraged. 

To respond to the call for papers, please send a proposal of no more than 500 words to pannenbergsymposium@gmail.com.  Proposals will be evaluated on the contribution they could make to the symposium theme, the clarity of the proposed research  plan, and their significance for the study of Pannenberg’s theology. Proposals should be submitted by July 1, 2021 and will be  subject to a blind review process. Doctoral students and junior scholars are encouraged to submit a proposal. A limited number or registration scholarships are available for those in need. 

The organizers for the conference also have two hopes for future efforts growing out of this conference. First, they will be  seeking publication for a selection of the best papers coming out of the conference as part of an edited volume. Second, our  hope is that the conversation generated by the attendees may give rise to further meetings of the Pannenberg symposium on  a regular basis. Scholars who are interested in such an ongoing project are also encouraged to notify the organizers of their  interest in this broader effort.

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